Camp Hill, PA
Bio not provided
It's do or die time now, fellas. It's now I hate how much luck is involved in baseball.
2 months, 2 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://whygavs.com/october-2014/bob-robertson-and-the-giants-tonight-everyone-matters.html
Update on my most yesterday: http://whygavs.com/september-2014/fangraphs-on-vance-worley-and-pitching-inside.htmlThe Pirates now have only a 5.7% chance of winning the division according to Baseball Prospectus. Again, this is counterintuitive, but the statistics play out.
FWIW, Baseball Prospectus gives the Giants a 48.8% chance of winning the play-in game on the road in Pittsburgh (likely) or St. Louis (unlikely).
2 months, 3 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://whygavs.com/september-2014/game-160-pirates-3-reds-1.html
FWIW, interesting note: Baseball Prospectus is only giving the Pirates an 11% chance of winning their division! If that sounds low, I did the math and found:
* If each game was 50/50 for each team, the Pirates would only have a 19.5% chance. This is the magic of statistics when there's only three games left. Even if the Cardinals won 2/3, the Pirates would have to sweep AND win a game in St. Louis.
* Each game is NOT 50/50. The Cardinals are hot right now and playing a lousy Diamondbacks team. Meanwhile, the Pirates have to face Cueto tonight.
2 months, 3 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://whygavs.com/september-2014/fangraphs-on-vance-worley-and-pitching-inside.html
Pat, I think you're placing to much importance in individuals. Even if McCutchen were out for a month, the Pirates would on average lose 1.2 more games - might be more, might be less. http://saberbucs.net/2014/08/05/the-villains-who-will-make-up-for-mccutchen/
The same goes for other players; even the Astros, famous for fielding a group of oompa loompas, win 40% of their games. The Pirates will survive a few nights without their stars.
4 months, 2 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://whygavs.com/uncategorized/game-114-pirates-7-marlins-2.html
Regardless of whether this has to do with the HBP, Delgado and the manager should both be suspended for a few weeks. Just step back and look at this: they purposefully injured an opposing star player because of an *accidental* injury the night before. And they quite possibly succeeded.
Even if they wanted to send a message, there are ways to do it without crippling the reigning MVP.
Anyone who tells you otherwise either has too much of a dog in the fight, or sees the world through a fratboy mentality of might makes right. (Keep in mind the juvenile mentality do prevalent in sports circles)
This isn't homerism: it's common sense.
4 months, 2 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://whygavs.com/august-2014/andrew-mccutchen-has-a-fractured-rib.html
Another thing: you didn't mention it, so I'm not sure if you saw that game-saving throw by Polanco and perfect tag by Martin in the 10th. Seriously, watch the replay.
5 months, 1 week ago on Conversation @ http://whygavs.com/july-2014/game-94-pirates-6-reds-5.html
I listened to this one on my phone, as FOX was showing the Phillies in Harrisburg. I haven't heard Greg Brown sound so frustrated in a few years.
Also, it is time for Frieri to go. He has an ERA of 7.20, and John Wehner said he wasn't even getting close to the strike zone. He has been awful.
I hate this, because I genuinely like Grilli. He was a great comeback story. His parents were on Root Sports gushing about how the Pirates gave him a chance. He even wrote a book. And he really cares - you could see how frustrated he was after giving up that home run (even as he got booed off the field).
6 months ago on Conversation @ http://whygavs.com/june-2014/game-72-pirates-4-reds-3.html
Let's face it: Melancon and Grilli (especially) are nowhere near as good as they were last year.
6 months, 1 week ago on Conversation @ http://whygavs.com/uncategorized/game-67-pirates-8-marlins-6.html
That was the worst strike zone I've seen in years.
6 months, 2 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://whygavs.com/june-2014/a-big-start-for-jeff-locke.html
Melancon hasn't been lights out since he lost that one game last year. Teams have figured out they can hit him opposite field.
7 months, 1 week ago on Conversation @ http://whygavs.com/may-2014/game-40-brewers-4-pirates-3.html
The Yankees and Braves are in first place, the Pirates and Cubs stink, and the correlation between record and payroll is strong.
The universe has righted itself.
8 months ago on Conversation @ http://whygavs.com/uncategorized/game-22-reds-5-pirates-2.html
Baseballprospectus had the Pirates going a few games under .500 this year. I see no reason to mistrust them - baseball isn't magic and our favorite team isn't immune to the laws of statistics just because we like them (see: optimism bias).
As for the brawl, ESPN seems to be beating the war drums to make Cole and Snyder look like the bad guys. As someone who watched the game, I find this baffling - Gomez is the guy who ran around an umpire to start a fistfight.
8 months ago on Conversation @ http://whygavs.com/april-2014/game-19-brewers-3-pirates-2.html
*made it to the championship game in the previous year
(clarification... I typed this at 6am)
1 year, 2 months ago on NLDS Game 5: Cardinals 6 Pirates 1 (and so much more)
"Wait til next year" is what I told myself as a 12 year old
after watching the Steelers lose the Super Bowl in 1995. Turned out
there was no "next year" (at least until 2005 by the time I'd grown up).
Thus I had a painful lesson while young that mathematics trump
human emotion: 1 in 30 (or so) is far longer odds than what my
instinct tells me (more like 50/50). In fact, I learned that if the team made it to the championship game, it
isn't even likely to get as far in the postseason as it did the previous year, let alone
win it all.
Same thing with the Penguins in 1993 or Penn State in 1994.
(Psychological note: the reason our guts tells us it's more
likely is probably because human emotion regarding sports evolved in a hunter role where
perseverance indeed rendered the outcome more likely.)
You're right. Hockey fans are routinely very rowdy. Even the NY Islanders crowd in their Saturday afternoon playoffs game against the Pens this year was insane.
1 year, 2 months ago on NL Wild Card: Pirates 6 Reds 2
The only times in memory I can think of a crowd which I've seen this intense were Wrigley Field in the Playoffs and Beaver Stadium for a PSU football game against Ohio State in 2005. There are probably others I can't remember...
Even if they can't beat the Cardinals, I can now say I'll be happy with this year. They've vastly overperformed my expectations. Any more wins is a bonus in my book, not something to be sad about if they miss it. Does that make me a bad fan? No, just one that is glad to get what he can. Not everyone can win the World Series. You only live once: enjoy what life gives you. :-)
On another note, I think the fans did get to Cueto (what a bizarre and awesome turn off events). But he didn't have his best stuff tonight regardless. I've always thought that getting inside a player's head is overrated in sports (cf. icing the kicker, or yelling at a free throw shooter, neither of which is effective).
Thank you, Bucs, for a great year.
Sorry for the double text in my post; my mobile web browser is buggy.
1 year, 2 months ago on The one game playoff is ridiculous
First off, if the Pirates had been the second wild card, our favorite blogger would no doubt feel more amicable toward it.
Secondly, if we really wanted to determine the best team, we would have even less teams in the playoffs, like pre wild-card or even pre-division-series.
But why stop there? How often is the better team going to lose to the team that gets lucky in the playoffs or catches fire? Why not eliminate the playoffs altogether and award the crown to the team with the most wins? Better yet, get rid of the win-loss format, and have cumulative runs for vs. runs-against (a measure by which the Pirates stink, btw).
As you can see, not just baseball, but all major sports are literally built for drama, not for determining the best team. It's what makes sports interesting. This purity test of who-is-actually-the-best makes no sense in a larger context.
But why stop there? If we want to determine the team with the most talent, why have a playoff at all
1 year, 2 months ago on The Pirates are going to the playoffs
Does anyone know what happens if there is a tie for the wild card with either the Cardinals and/or the Reds?
I think I speak for many of us when I say, WHY did you pull Morton for Melancon? Let Charlie pitch at least one more inning. And yes, I thought so at the time. This is what's got us in trouble recently.
1 year, 2 months ago on Game 157: Pirates 2 Cubs 1
Maybe it's better to step back from the edge and be more mature. Turn the other cheek. After all, violence just begets more violence. Granted, if someone threw at my head, all my peace talk might fly out the window as I charged the mound.
1 year, 3 months ago on Game 154: Reds 6 Pirates 5
No question that the umps screwed up here. But let's put the blame where it is due: Jordy Mercer airmailing a routine throw to win the game, Melancon not able to get anyone out, and one killer at bat with lots of foul balls.
Don't forget either that anyone who throws at Votto today will have to serve a suspension.
No need to beat around the bush. This is one of the worst losses I've seen in any sport, ever. This is not hyperbole. Devastating.
"Maybe there's something special about this Pirate team."
I will never understand the thinking that most announcers and sports fans show. No offense, but sports are not magic, despite what the movies say. They are grown men throwing a ball around.
1 year, 3 months ago on Game 147: Cubs 5 Pirates 4
Last night the radio crew said he had a .120 batting average against with runners in scoring position pre-All Star Break. Those numbers were never sustainable. Let's face it: he was always overperforming, and bound to come down at some point.
1 year, 3 months ago on Game 127: Pirates 10 Giants 5
I *really* dislike it when Greg Brown picks on Bob Walk. If you listened to the radio broadcast yesterday in the 11th inning, you would have heard it again - certainly not the first time. Bob always remains calm, but Greg gets personal.
Anyone else notice and feel this way too?
1 year, 4 months ago on Game 121: Pirates 6 Diamondbacks 2
On a funny note, Clint Hurdle had Josh Harrison pitch! Wish I'd seen it.
On a more serious note: the Pirates run differential is worrisome. Statistically speaking, chances are that their numbers will improve, or (more likely) they will start losing more games.
1 year, 4 months ago on Game 115: Rockies 10 Pirates 1
Let's be honest: many of us longsuffering Pirates fans are just waiting for the other shoe to drop."C'mon, keep piling up the wins now, so that when you come apart, the fall won't be do far down." What if that shoe was never going to drop?
1 year, 4 months ago on Game 106: Pirates 6 Cardinals 0
The caveats should apply here. The Pirates had a favorable pitching matchup tonight, which they won't have for the next four games. And they just went 5-5 against some mediocre teams.
I guess it comes down to luck as much as anything. Who is hot in October?
1 year, 4 months ago on Game 104: Pirates 9 Cardinals 2
A few weeks ago, I already complained to the local FOX about showing the Orioles instead of the Pirates (hint: the number of Orioles fans in greater Harrisburg is negligibly above the background, and far lower than the number of Pirates fans). They said they can't control the choices: it's set by corporate (not sure if they could make a stink about it, but whatever).
Fortunately, I am driving to my parents' and watching the game on WWCP.
1 year, 5 months ago on The best in the dark
1) You didn't mention: the Angels almost won with the odd combination of 6 runs and 4 hits.
2) the Bucs are off Thursday, not Wednesday.
1 year, 5 months ago on Game 76: Pirates 10 Angels 9
Great baseball game, but it Greg Brown was a little excessive with the adjectives. He repeatedly called it "magical", "a night you'll remember forever," etc. I love baseball but it's just a game, boys!
1 year, 6 months ago on Game 54: Pirates 8 Giants 2
no blog entry on that brutal game last night? I was kind of interested in seeing your analysis on the wisdom of throwing the ball at a guy's head with no outs in the first (and then throwing a temper tantrum when you get tossed from the game for it).
1 year, 7 months ago on First place is on the line ... in April
That was definitely a solo homerun by Sanchez, not a three run homer.
1 year, 7 months ago on Game 22: Pirates 6 Phillies 4
How in the world could this team go from giving up 13 runs to a mediocre Cubs team (thanks, bullpen) to giving up no runs, two hits, and one walk (thanks, bullpen, including Correia, except not sarcastically this time).
2 years, 3 months ago on Game 146: Pirates 3 Cubs 0 | August 2012
I didn't watch the game tonight; just checked the score.
I agree with justinzeth. It's done, over, kaput. No need to go over the ways in which this is as bad as (or worse than) it seems: they're obvious, and you'll probably cover that.
Was a good season: maybe next year. Here's hoping they crest .500. :*(
2 years, 3 months ago on It's time to make up ground | August 2012
I've been watching the Pirates since I was a little kid. I am now 29; I vaguely remember them making the playoffs when I was in third grade.
None of this makes me want to say "I told you so" about how I, in fact, told you so only a few games out of the all-star break when they weren't playing the same baseball.
None of this makes me want to fire anyone, or get mad, although it is now clear that the Brad Lincoln trade was a disaster that has cost the Pirates several games.
It only makes me sad. I've just wanted so bad to see them make it. But they aren't making it. I've even had a recurring nocturnal dream about the Pirates making the playoffs for years.
Oh well, I suppose it's just a sport.
2 years, 3 months ago on And so here we are again | August 2012
In the 5th inning, McDonald gave up 3 runs and got no outs. He then let two more guys on base. At that point, there was open discussion by the radio announcers of whether he should be taken out, but the radio announcers said they thought Hurdle was keeping him in because he wanted to give McDonald the win. That is probably true. McDonald promptly gave up another three-run homer (and was of course taken out), and the Pirates lost by a single run.
I'm sure Hurdle knows he made the wrong decision (hindsight is 20/20). But at least a little "blame", if we must go throwing it around, should be put on the manager for sticking too long with McDonald in a confidence-boosting experiment gone awry. One should not play baseball based off "confidence" when a pitcher is struggling this badly. He needs to work on that stuff in practice. It was a bad decision by Hurdle and it cost the Pirates a game.
2 years, 4 months ago on James McDonald hammered again: what happens with the rotation now? | August 2012
At home, the place where they've been playing well above .500, a split with a .500 team is not a positive. This team needs to be playing significantly *above* .500 if they want to win the division - and probably if they even want to make it to the one-game initial round to the playoffs.
It is quite frustrating to watch this team right now, because I feel like their pitching is doing worse (Burnett aside) and their hitting is definitely not what it was two months ago.
Don't get me wrong - I'm not a hater, and I know everyone is trying their hardest. It's just frustrating.
2 years, 4 months ago on Game 111: Diamondbacks 6 Pirates 3 | August 2012
Let's state this bluntly: if the Pirates don't start playing better ball, they're going nowhere. Even if they somehow stumble into the playoffs with this type of play, they'd get crushed once they get there.
They just need to play better ball. No idea why this team can play so poorly in April and July yet be so unstoppable in June.
2 years, 4 months ago on Game 101: Astros 9 Pirates 5 | July 2012
I still stand by my comments expressing skepticism from earlier this week (link:http://whygavs.com/pittsburgh-pirates/july-2012/game-88-brewers-4-pirates-1.html). Normally tonight would be a relief, but there are definitely a few questions in this series:*Was this Pirates comeback due to good Pirates offense or bad Rockies pitching? The Rockies pitcher tonight has been having problems all season.
*Even if it was good offense, was it because Coors Field is such a hitter's ballpark?
*The Pirates had the same number of hits as the Rockies in both of their wins of this series. How much of this was luck, and how much due to the long ball? (evidence in similar situations usually suggests more luck than talent) Is this an acceptable performance against a team 20 games below .500?
I am not saying the Pirates are bad or untalented. I'm glad to say that we're at the point that I'm picking apart the Pirates after they win a road series; the expectations have definitely increased. I'm simply saying that I still have worries on whether the Pirates can make a run to the playoffs. Let's hope they prove me wrong!
2 years, 5 months ago on Game 91: Pirates 9 Rockies 6 | July 2012
I'm glad to see there is at least one other sane Pirates fan out there. The Root Sports post-game announcers kept treating this like it was an exception, "no-biggie" so to speak. Seventeen strikeouts (!) and an awful defensive game is not "no-biggie," but a cause for concern. This team never would have played this way one or two weeks ago. So which is the aberration: the good play or the bad play? I have a feeling, and it's not a good one. Hopefully it's somewhere in the middle.
Also, agree with KirkLee: hits are being given out way too easily these days. Does anyone know of any data existing on the number of errors being handed out per game in the past few seasons?
2 years, 5 months ago on Game 88: Brewers 4 Pirates 1 | July 2012
On another note, I cannot ever remember watching a team self-destruct so fantastically. We're talking about a losing streak that involves some of the worst teams in the majors, at home.
3 years, 4 months ago on Game 112: Padres 13 Pirates 2 | August 2011
I listened on the radio (does that count?) I can only wonder why the fans weren't booing *louder*. They gave up a grand slam for the second night in a row for crying out loud. Fans in this part of the country are far too tame - they need to take some cues from Philadelphians.